After years of incredible change, uncertainty, and lost family contact due to COVID-19, finding ways to reinstate a sense of steadiness, connection, and general cheer is more important than ever.
And with the holiday season fast approaching, there’s no better way to do that than with some classic or newfound Christmas traditions.
Now is the time to begin planning. Looking for some ideas and inspiration? Well, you’re in luck! Here are five festive activities to inspire you.
1. Send Family Photo Christmas Cards
If the past few years have highlighted anything, it’s the importance of staying connected with our loved ones both near and far. To that end, Christmas cards are a simple, affordable, and heartfelt tradition that are as fun to make and send as they are to receive. Moreover, creating custom photo Christmas cards featuring all your family members will provide a special keepsake for your loved ones and friends. To stay ahead of the holiday craze, take your family photos around Thanksgiving and mail your cards out soon after. Starting this activity a month before Christmas will also get you into the spirit of the season without adding more to your December to-do list.
2. Participate in a Secret Santa
Secret Santa is a no-fail, gift-giving tradition that makes it possible for everyone to participate in the joy of giving — without the stress of spending a lot of money. The longtime Christmas tradition involves a group of people who are randomly assigned a person to whom they give a no-frills gift. When the group gathers to exchange and open gifts, each giftee must guess which member was their Secret Santa. Indeed, it’s a fun way to make sure everyone gets a gift they love, while saving givers from having to divvy up their gift funds too many different ways. A bonus benefit of hosting a Secret Santa is that it can be done in person or virtually.
3. Make a Meal for a Homeless Shelter
Get into the spirit of the season by sharing the joy and comfort of a home-cooked meal with those who need it most. Local shelters are always looking for meal donations that volunteers can serve, so all you have to do is make it and drop it off. Involve the whole family by having them choose their favorite holiday dish and preparing it together. There’s no expectation to drop off a gourmet meal. Whether you have the time and budget for mashed potatoes, casserole, or cookies, there’s no wrong answer and anything you do will be appreciated.
4. Check Out Nearby Christmas Light Displays
Put your cocoa in a thermos and bundle up for a stroll through your favorite festive neighborhood to see the lights and decorations. This is a great way to connect with your community for the holidays. If the Christmas spirit is particularly strong with your family, get some twinkly lights for your home and give your neighbors something to smile at.
5. Send a Gift Basket to a Nursing Home Resident
Christmas is all about spending time with loved ones. Sadly, many people spend their Christmases alone. A thrift store basket, pair of Christmas socks, box of chocolates or bag of cookies, and a cozy throw blanket are all you need to make a gift basket that will make somebody’s day. Throwing in a family photo with a hand-written note on the back and signed by the whole family will top it off with a personal touch that lets your recipient know there are people in the world who love them, whether they know them or not. The simplest way to do this is to drop off your basket at a local nursing home and request that your basket be delivered to someone who could use a little holiday cheer.
Have a Very Merry Christmas!
No matter which type of Christmas traditions you partake in, the holidays are a time for celebrating family, friends, and community and being surrounded by the ones you love. To those gathering as a family for the first time in years or who get together regularly, here’s wishing you a joyous and meaningful holiday season.